|Carrot Almond Salad
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup / 3 oz sliced almonds
a small handful cilantro, about 1/2 cup (or parsley or basil)
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and de-veined
1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch / 8 oz baby carrots, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 bunch / 16 oz asparagus, stalks trimmed, cut into 2-inch segments
squeeze of lemon, optional
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat in a splash of olive oil along with a big pinch of salt. Let them get deeply golden, remove from heat, and set aside.
Make the dressing by combining the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and salt in a food processor - or alternately, in a blender or with a hand blender. Drizzle the olive oil in while pulsing, continuing until the dressing is a creamy, vibrant green. Taste, and adjust to your liking with more salt, garlic, jalapeno, etc.
Salt the boiling water generously, then add the carrots, wait 15 seconds and add the asparagus. Depending on the actual thickness of your carrots/asparagus, cook for about 30 - 60 more seconds, you want the vegetables to retain some structure and bite. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Spin dry in a salad spinner.
In a large bowl toss the vegetables with a generous splash of the dressing. Toss well, add 2/3 of the toasted almonds and gently toss again. Taste and adjust for seasoning. You might want to add a quick squeeze of lemon juice at this point, but it's optional. Serve family-style topped with the remaining almonds.
Serves 4-6 as a side.